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A guide to saving and investing through life’s changes


Life’s twists and turns come with a unique set of financial opportunities and challenges. Whether you’re establishing your career, tying the knot, welcoming a baby, or approaching retirement, each change warrants a thoughtful reassessment of your saving and investing strategies. In this guide, we’ll explore the impact of significant life changes on your financial journey and offer tips on how to navigate these changes successfully.


Establishing your career

Saving and investing is a lifelong process, and the sooner you start the better off you’ll be in the long run. When you land your first “real job,” create a budget to help you understand your spending patterns and manage your finances. Set up a savings account and get into the habit of putting a portion of your income aside – ideally 10% or more. Enrol in KiwiSaver to benefit from employer and government contributions. And when you get a pay increase, boost your savings and up those KiwiSaver contributions! The discipline and skills developed in these early days will benefit you throughout life.

At Blue Canoe, we’re here to help you understand your earning, saving and spending patterns, so you can make smart choices that match your current needs and future goals. We’ll equip you with cutting-edge personal finance software and a budgeting app that makes money management easy and sets you up for success.


Moving in together or getting married

Relationships often present new saving and investing opportunities to build wealth that we wouldn’t have on our own. Pooling resources via shared expenses reduces living costs, and dual incomes accelerate savings. But different attitudes to money can rock the boat. It’s important to have open and honest conversations about finances. The earlier you have the “money talk” the better! 

Start by setting life goals together and develop a financial plan that reflects both partner’s priorities. Create a joint budget that factors in shared expenses and individual spending. Address debt repayment, emergency savings (being able to cover a 3-6 months of living expenses is a helpful rule of thumb), retirement plans, and necessary insurances like life and income protection. Align savings and KiwiSaver contributions with your shared goals and consider combining your savings and investment accounts for convenience and efficiencies.

Our team can help you and your partner achieve your goals through clear financial planning. We use our expertise, experience, and data-driven insights to help you understand the impact of income changes, project earnings from savings and investments, and determine insurance required to protect your wealth.


Buying a home

When gearing up to buy a home, we recommend allocating a portion of your savings into a short-term investment tailored for funding your deposit and moving costs. For example, a high interest savings account or term deposit that aligns with your home purchase timeline, ensuring that the funds will be available when you need them. Short-term investments like this provide potential for returns while protecting what you’ve put in.

If you’re using KiwiSaver to fund your first home deposit, your KiwiSaver goals will shift from saving for your first home toward maximising retirement savings. Take a moment to reflect on your goals and decide whether it’s possible to increase your contributions. Blue Canoe can assess how well your fund is working for you and recommend next steps for getting the most from your KiwiSaver.

Remember, homeownership comes with new financial commitments, including mortgage repayments, rates, insurance, and maintenance costs. Integrating these expenses into your daily budget and adjusting saving and investing goals will help craft a realistic and sustainable plan for the future.


Starting a family

Choosing to start a family brings exciting changes as well as financial considerations. The key is to balance immediate needs with longer term financial goals. For working parents, having a baby usually means a temporary reduction in income during parental leave. Prioritise short-term savings for immediate baby-related expenses during this time. A decision might also be made for one parent to return to work on a part-time basis or stop working altogether, creating long-term financial implications. Reassess long-term savings and investment strategies to mitigate risk and ensure stability while raising a family. While riskier investments may have been acceptable in the past, the arrival of a child often requires a more conservative approach to protect your family’s financial future. Diversify your investments across various assets – property, KiwiSaver, savings accounts and shares for example – for a well-rounded portfolio. 

Beyond that, consider starting an education fund for your child’s future, allowing you to take advantage of compound growth and ensuring financial readiness for educational expenses along the way. Starting an education fund for your child ensures they’ll have financial support for higher education, reduces reliance on student loans, and provides flexibility, while instilling financial responsibility.


Approaching retirement

As you approach retirement age, we recommend gradually shifting your investment focus towards income-generating assets like bonds, and assets with lower market volatility like shares or property. Regularly review your KiwiSaver account, to ensure you’re on track to meet your financial goals and consider upping your contributions to get the most from those final years of employment.

Reevaluate your cash flow needs for retirement and establish a sustainable withdrawal plan that will allow you to live the retirement you dreamed of without compromising the longevity of your savings.

retired couple



When you turn 65, you become eligible to withdraw your KiwiSaver retirement savings and you’ll be faced with a few options – a) leave the full amount invested in KiwiSaver, b) make withdrawals when you need to or c) withdraw the full amount to spend or invest in another way. To help you decide what to do with your nest egg, think about how you’ll use your money in the short, medium and long term. 

Over the short term (0-3 years), you’ll need money to live on and be available in case of an emergency. Over the medium term (4-9 years) you’ll need a higher proportion of your money invested in income-generating assets like bonds that can spin off a regular income when you need it. And over the long term (10+ years), you’ll need a higher proportion of your money invested in growth assets that can keep up with inflation and hold their value, like property and shares. Review your situation annually to make sure your money’s there when you need it, shifting savings from long term to medium term, and from medium to short.

Saving and investing is important at any age, but the same strategy shouldn’t be used throughout life. Those who are younger can tolerate more risk, but they often have less income to invest. And those who are near retirement may have more money to invest, but less time to recover from losses. The sooner you start saving and investing the better, but it’s never too late to start! 

For forward thinking financial advice, get in touch today.

Find us at Level 14, 22 Willeston Street, Wellington, 6011
Contact Hans: 027 230 1045
Contact Isaac: 027 339 0879
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